All About Blocks
One of the main advantages of any CAD program is the ability to use “blocks” to speed up the drawing process.
What is a Block?
Blocks are premade drawings, which can be used and copied within a drawing, or across a series of drawings.
They are made up of a series of lines and arcs to create one entity which makes one selectable object (or block). By selecting one point of the block, you select all entities associated with it, for example the drawing to the right shows the selection of one point within the chair block.
As you can see, the block entity (highlighted in orange) can be selected as one. This means you can select, move, copy, rotate or mirror all the objects that make up that one block.
From this example I hope you can see the potential, and power of blocks! They can increase the time it takes to produce drawings a lot.
Advantages of Blocks
Obviously the main advantage to blocks is their ability to standardize company drawings. By creating a block library you can save large amounts of time in the creation of drawings, this will obviously then save money
Other advantages include:
|Saves time & Money||Draw just one block you can insert this many hundreds of times, as opposed to redrawing each entry one by one!|
|Reduces Errors||By using standard blocks, you can be confident that you have the same symbols every time.|
|Small File Size||If you insert a block say 15times in one drawing, AutoCAD only inserts that block reference once, saving you valuable storage space|
|Modify just one Block||By modifying the block, you can quickly update hundreds of the same block entity at once.|
Why use blocks?
I’m sure by now; you can gather blocks are a very useful, almost invaluable tool for AutoCAD drafting. You can insert them any number of times in the same drawing, and when you do, all instances of the block remain identical.
One big advantage is the inclusion of Attributed Text. Attributed text adds flexibility to block, by adding in variable text strings which you can edit to each different instance of that particular block.
Blocks are incredibly useful to both create and store or alternatively you can buy them. I would recommend you start off with a small library of purchased Blocks , which you can add to when you need to by creating your own. There are lots of different companies which provide blocks online for instant download.
How to create blocks
I will create a tutorial which explains how to create blocks with attributed text, but for the minuet this tutorial explains really well how to create a Block in AutoCAD
Readymade block libraries
I have found several companies who provide a good Block service, the first being CAD Architect this is a great archive of blocks which you can download if you are in the architectural world. They have over 5000 blocks for you to choose from.
The second is a FREE block website called The CAD Block Exchange Network the website has litterally thousands of free blocks, details and plans for you to download and use. The downside with this website is the layout however, its quite difficult to navigate, however it is free and there are blocks uploaded daily!
Thirdly, CADOutsource can produce CAD block libraries, we supply M&E block libraries on a DVD with over 300 blocks for just £200, these have the added bonus of being interactive blocks, allowing you to change the scale and type of block quickly and easily.